Friday, February 28, 2020

Poetry Friday: February Sure Has Changed

(Not Snowmageddon, just a pretty yard, Jan, 2108) 
February's challenge was to re-visit one of our older poems, and view it through the lens of who we are now. Perhaps we'd learned a new form in which the poem would fit better. Perhaps we'd realized the words we'd chosen weren't the best. Or perhaps, we, ourselves, were fuller human beings, with more to put on the page. We could either revise the older poem...or pair it with a new poem. 

The more I thought about this challenge, the more I knew which poem was getting a return visit:  the one I'd written for a 2010 blog post called The Impossibility of February.  In that post, fresh off the blizzard known as "Snowmageddon," I'd given myself the task of composing an "ode to February." And boy, did I do that, addressing the month with a lover's heart, and a bit of wit, too.  

The only trouble was that I wasn't interested in revising that original poem.  I liked it, and it said what I'd had in mind. Moreover, my hindsight (our theme for this challenge!) led me to believe that it wasn't ME who had changed since was February.  

So here I am, talking to impossible February in 2010, followed by my 2020 talk with that bad boy...


Oh, February, oh February 

You make my heart sing, you do,
were it not for blinding blizzards…and the swine-iest of flu.

Oh, February, far too short the days
to count the shades of grayest grays

you send me, year after weary year.
If I were you, I'd watch my back, dear;

such nuanced love cannot last
before I exchange you for something less…overcast.

Oh, February, love is patient, love is kind;
love doesn't leave you disinclined

to climb from underneath the warmest covers
to join the bitterest, iciest, and brutalist of lovers

on the barren street, no less! to watch how much snow
you can blow and blow and blow---some beau

you are. But how can I call it quits
when you bite my cheeks and grab my wrists

kissing color into my frozen face---
Oh, February, let's March on apace!

               ---Sara Lewis Holmes


Oh, February, oh February 

You make my heart sing, you do…
Were it not for days of sixty degrees, and nights of minus two!

Tulips bloom, then crack to ice before they can be kissed;
Lovers sweat, then freeze to death if they dare outdoor trysts.

And what’s with the extra day you want to stuff
Into a month that already has it rough,

What with viruses ravaging the land,
And Astros not apologizing for whacking on a can?

February, I know claimed I was no quitter,
But that was when I thought you merely icy, brutal, bitter—

Now you unleash forest fires, and dump tornados in my lap; 
I wouldn’t swipe right on you, not on any dating app!

So cut it out, February, you heartless fool.
Be true. Be you. Go back to being cool.

-----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved) 

You can find my Poetry Sisters poems here:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Karen Edmisten.